The Israeli election looks to be heading the way of former general Benny Gantz, who was narrowly pipped just five months ago after he and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu emerged with the same number of seats.
But after winning the support of parties representing a majority of the new parliament, the Likud leader was subsequently unable to form a viable coalition.
However, the Blue and White Party’s apparent success could depend on enlisting the support of an increased number of Arab members of the Knesset (parliament) who, as anti-Zionists, do not even believe in the existence of Israel. This obviously poses a potential threat to the security of the Jewish state.
That said, the nation’s greatest need at this time is for godly leadership, which will even take care of the economy. For, as the Jewish Messiah put it, “Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things (food and clothing) will be added unto you.” (Matthew 6.33)
Certainly, the need for ongoing protection, and defence, are among huge issues looming like a dark cloud over the country’s immediate future, requiring a skillful pilot to steer through the storms.
‘Bibi’ Netanyahu, whose prospects have also been blighted by pending indictments over alleged corruption, has a good record on security, being uncompromising with his opponents, which has mostly kept the lid on the simmering pot of terror plots always in danger of boiling over and scarring the land.
Peace and safety must be sought, for sure. But never at any cost, which is why the tired old mantra of seeking a ‘two-state solution’ – still the official line of the British Foreign Office – has given way to more radical policies such as annexing the Jordan Valley as well as Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria and even reclaiming part of Hebron for the Jews.
Strangely, ex-generals (such as Ariel Sharon who pulled Israel out of Gaza) don’t have a good record on this. But most Israelis have seen through the endless and often meaningless talk of ‘land for peace’. Implementing the Oslo Accords and pulling out of Gaza has only exacerbated the problem, as Palestinians see it as weak compromise effectively acknowledging that the land really doesn’t belong to the Jews after all.
In any case, they don’t want bits of the territory; they want all of it, in line with the constant propaganda so successfully sold to the United Nations and anyone else willing to swallow it over the years – that the land, ‘from the river to the sea’, has been stolen from the Arabs.
In truth, it was over 4,000 years ago that God promised the descendants of Abraham all the land from the Nile to the Euphrates (Gen 15.18). And, 100 years ago next April at San Remo, Italy, their right to this region became international law.
Israel is unique among Western nations in that God is, by definition, part of its political make-up, much as its majority secularists are trying to ignore the fact. It means that complicated arrangements have always to be worked out with the minority religious parties, who are ignored at a politician’s peril.
Yet some of their requirements, such as military exemption for Yeshiva (religious seminary) students, led to the breakdown in forming a government back in April. Ex-Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman, now promoted as a potential ‘kingmaker’ for uniting the right-wing parties, understandably doesn’t like this idea and refused to go along with it.
But I’m not talking about pandering to religious parties when calling for godly leadership. I’m referring to following the specific decrees of the Lord and a cleansing from impurities and detestable practices that offended God in the past – and continues to do so as he has not changed his mind about sin.
Ezekiel and others prophesied that the end-time return of the exiles would be linked with their return to the Lord and his ways (Ezek 36.24-26, Zech 12.10). God has called them as a light to the nations (Isa 49.6).
It’s encouraging to read of the statement in a television interview by Knesset member Bezalel Smotrich, in expressing his desire to serve as Minister of Justice in the next Netanyahu government: “Israel’s justice system has once again to be founded on the Torah (the Laws of Moses).”
But it’s distressing to learn that, just days later, Bibi appointed the openly homosexual Amir Ohana to the post, clearly pandering to the secular majority – and mocking God in the process. Yet Bibi is a Bible-believer convinced that Israel’s rebirth is a fulfilment of God’s ancient promises.
But the same God who brought them back to their land is waiting to welcome them back to himself as he did for the Prodigal Son who became pig-sick of the world’s filthy ways and returned to the Father who had never stopped loving him despite his rebellious behaviour.
Meanwhile, the description by former Education Minister Naftali Bennett of President Trump’s proposed ‘deal of the century’ as “hell” is worrying as he says it leaves Jews vulnerable to their enemies in almost every area of the country. Hell already stalks Israel on all sides with constant threats of war and terror while attacks on Saudi oil refineries and the general escalation of tension in the region as a whole is a potential nightmare for every citizen.
Visiting London last weekend, I couldn’t help noticing that ‘hell’ has now been extended to describing food and drink, as in ‘Hell’s fish and chips’ (presumably hot). I also watched in dismay as pagan rituals were enacted by a crowd of ‘worshippers’ on Hampstead Heath (790 acres of beautiful parkland in the heart of London).
But my message to Israelis and Londoners is the same: Don’t allow the world to squeeze you into its godless hell. There is a heaven to be gained for those who trust in the Lord with all their heart and are determined to live and work according to his decrees.
Read the end of the Book (the Revelation to the Apostle John): There is a golden future for Jerusalem, Israel and for all who put their hope in Yeshua!
Charles Gardner is author of Israel the Chosen, available from Amazon; Peace in Jerusalem, available from olivepresspublisher.com; and A Nation Reborn, available from Christian Publications International